My twins were too old for a stroller, and too young for any sane mom to take shopping. But there I was, walking in circles in a fabric store, trying to figure out how I was going to make Halloween costumes. Liam wanted to be a firefighter, and so I thought it would be cute if the girls were dalmatians.
I didn’t know how I was going to make all those black spots. With two costumes, I didn’t want to be sewing on hundreds of dots. Even gluing seemed overwhelming. I needed to figure it out quickly, though, before the girls ran off in two different directions . . . .
Then I saw the perfect fabric.
Duh! They make cotton fabric that’s already printed to look like dalmatian fur!
I’m not too good at sewing anything with complicated patterns, but I can make a pillowcase dress. Add some ears and a fire fighter’s helmet, and we were in business!
The year the girls were 1, I dressed them as ladybugs. My sewing skills were even more rudimentary that year, but the fabric saved the day. Oh, and the headbands. Never mind that my sewing machine is 50 years old.
I browsed fabric.com recently, and came up with four more prints that would also make an easy pillowcase dress costume.
For your convenience, all links below are affiliate links leading to fabric.com. If you make a purchase there, I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
print – add a cowbell and cowgirl hat for sweet western charm.
These next three are all wild animals, meaning they’d be great sibling costumes. An older child could dress like they’re on safari. (Yes, I know, tigers and zebras actually live on different continents – imagine it’s a really big safari.)
print – She could wear this dress after Halloween! Hot glue fabric ears to a headband for added adorableness.
print – I still remember the tiger costume I had when I was about four. I insisted on wearing it as pajamas the rest of the year. You can embellish your costume by drawing whiskers and hot gluing tiger ears to a headband.
There are a zillion and one tutorials out there on how to make a pillowcase dress. You may already have a method you like. I’m just going to give you my two cents on it here.
Since you’re just making a costume, you can cut more corners than you would for regular clothing. I did not serge or zigzag any seams. I just either folded under or used pinking shears.
You can use ribbon instead of making a tie out of the dress fabric.
A lot of patterns have you cut two pieces of fabric and sew them together up the sides. I prefer to use one large piece of fabric and just sew up the back. It’s harder to sew perfect armholes this way, but again, it’s just a costume. Go for what’s fastest!
I wish I knew where I learned this little trick. You can use a standard pillowcase dress size chart and just double the width. In my dresses that are about size 3T, the arm holes are 6 inches long before any sewing takes place.
Hem the armholes first, then make the top casing. Hem the bottom to the size you want. Then, sew the seam that goes up the back.
I think there are two keys to making a great costume while keeping your work simple:
One – memorable accessories, such as the fireman hats on our dalmatians.
Two – the perfect fabric. (Preferably bought without kids in tow!).
This post is part of the Homemade Halloween blog hop. Be sure to check out all the other great ideas linked up there.
I love the firefighter and dalmation idea for siblings. You're right – that fabric is just perfect!
Love how many options there are! I wish I could get my kids to a theme.
I am going to make this shirt with a sleeve placket that I've never done before. It's always fun to do something new and to challenge myself. It seems easy enough looking at the pattern pieces. Sewing Machine Judge
This looks incredibly easy, which is exactly what every busy mom needs in a DIY Halloween costume. I love how versatile these are, too! Thanks for the great tip about doubling the size for the arm holes. Now to get out of the house alone so that I can choose the perfect fabric! Thanks for hosting Made for Kids, Heather!
They are versatile. Your sweet little one would look adorable in any of them.
Thanks for letting me share this in my Halloween roundup that will go live tonight!
I can't wait to see it! Thanks for including me.